Self care when seeing toxic family

Even with COVID raging in our country, many families are gathering. That includes my own family. My parents and sister who are a toxic combination, will be visiting on christmas day. So I will give you my top 3 tips for how I cope.

  1. Make boundaries- I am making artificial boundaries as I know my family follows gentle nudging and will boundary stomp verbalied boundaries. I will be building boundaries by cooking early. My family will come by around 11am-Noon or so. I will have our meal cooked and ready to serve within 15 minutes or so of their arrival. We will eat, talk for no more than half an hour, and my dad will want to leave. As he is driving my mom will stall for fifteen minutes and they will likely leave.
  2. Have a plan- I have an idea of what needs to be done and what will trigger a melt down in each of my family members. My husband has been coached, the food is bought, the meal ironed out, and cleaning and stashing things has begun.
  3. Have a back up plan- Honestly, my back up plan is to use the cats as a distraction as it worked when my family visited in 2018.

BONUS: Have a self care plan- I know I will not sleep well the night before they visit and I will need to expand my social battery with my in-laws the following day. I have planned a day or reading, watching tv, napping, and nourishing my body after my family leaves. I may even take a hot bath!

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